Finding the ending

The other day, I was trying to find a file on my computer, so I did the trusty start menu search and opened up all the files with a certain keyword. Amongst those files, I discovered that hidden umpteen-folders deep within my computer were files from my old, old computer. Many of the things I had written in high school and college were there in a collection of folders, waiting expectantly for me to prod each nook and cranny.

For the past few nights, all I have been able to do is rummage through these folders, reading finished and unfinished stories. Some I remember, some I don't recall in the least. If you don't know me well, let me share this fact with you - my memory is atrocious. It won't matter if I get Alzheimer's in my old age, because I will have forgotten 2/3 of my life before then anyway. This is one of the many reasons I keep my husband around. I will vaguely recall something and he will remember the event in vivid detail, down to the date. Random movie, he knows the release year. Remember the second time we saw a band we've seen multiple times? He knows the venue, year, and what they played for an encore. I vaguely recall my feet hurting by the 4th song, and that's about it.

Anyway, I perused. I read, I remembered. I saw hints of people in my life at that time, presented to me as fictional characters I had created. It made me nostalgic, but it also made me realize, more than ever, that I need to get back to this.

I'm not saying that I'm the next Hemmingway or Kerouac or anything like that. But what I am saying is, I'm not so bad. I mean, people are making millions of dollars off of revised fanfiction these days, I'm pretty sure I can come up with something that's at least better than that. And if anyone tells you they write only because they love it and they only want to be published for the satisfaction and honor of doing so is lying. The write because they love it, but they want others to love it. They want attention and praise and money, too. This doesn't make them terrible people, this makes them real. Dickens was paid by the word, and we're still reading him years later. No one faults him for this when critiquing his work.

So I guess this post is a little bit of a call to action for me, to get off my butt and start writing again. I was always good at starting a story, but never very good at finding my way through the forest to the ending. I think this time, I want to work differently. I want to create characters, outline a plot, and fill in the holes with piles of words. I want to create a framework so that I can see the beginning, the middle, and then end and know where I'm going each step of the way. This is daunting to me, because it makes it seem like such a chore, like work. But I'm hoping the blog can help. When I'm craving a meandering writing excursion (ahem, example above), I can come here and post. But when I want to work on my story, I need to have a goal in mind, a focus, and and ending in sight.

Now I just need to figure out what story it is that I want to tell.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 1, 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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